By John Tomase The San Diego Chargers apparently learned nothing from Freddie Mitchell, Mike Vanderjagt and other players who opened their mouths before playing the Patriots in the postseason. If they had, they would understand that no comment is innocuous enough to avoid setting off the Pats. The two squads meet in the divisional round tomorrow, and there already are rumblings of discontent in the Patriots locker room regarding a lack of respect from the West Coast, where the Chargers have proclaimed theyâ€™re going to the Super Bowl. â€śWeâ€™ll just lay low and let some guys run their mouth a little bit,â€ť Pats defensive end Richard Seymour [stats] said yesterday. â€śWeâ€™ll do our talking on the field.â€ť Unlike Mitchell, the former Philadelphia Eagles receiver who memorably said he â€śhad a little somethingâ€ť for Rodney Harrison, or Vanderjagt, the ex-Colts kicker who said the Patriots were â€śripe for the picking,â€ť the Chargers havenâ€™t overtly called out the Pats this week. Instead, the Pats are steaming because of phone calls between receiver Reche Caldwell and some of his former Chargers teammates, who insist theyâ€™re going to mop the floor with the Patriots tomorrow. â€śThey donâ€™t think too highly of us, from what Reche says,â€ť quarterback Tom Brady said. Caldwell seemed amused by the trash-talk, which he characterized as good-natured, but intent almost is secondary in New England, where the Patriots could find disrespect in a papal blessing. â€śI still talk to those guys,â€ť said Caldwell, who played in San Diego from 2002-05. â€śTheyâ€™re doing a lot of trash-talking, (saying) theyâ€™re getting ready for the Super Bowl and things like that. Itâ€™s just friendly conversation. Thatâ€™s it. â€śThey think theyâ€™re the best team in the league. Theyâ€™ve got the best record in the league, and theyâ€™ve been playing real well in all areas of the game. I think theyâ€™re looking past us.â€ť Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, not considered a stir-it-up type by any stretch, has said in recent days his team plans on going to the Super Bowl. Thatâ€™s not on par with Steelers coach Bill Cowher instructing his players to make Super Bowl reservations before the 2001 AFC Championship Game - he was being practical, but the Patriots took it as a grave insult - the presumptuousness still bothered a number of Pats, who bit their tongues in print. Gates, for his part, canâ€™t fathom the hubbub. â€śSometimes, as a team, if you need to find something to motivate you, so be it,â€ť he said. â€śI respect the Patriots. I respect what theyâ€™ve done. I respect the dynasty. I respect how they emphasize team, whether they know it or not. â€śBut let me say, when you say Super Bowl, I donâ€™t think itâ€™s disrespecting the Patriots for us to talk about what our goal is. Thatâ€™s our goal. Thatâ€™s been our goal since Day 1. Thatâ€™s going to continue to be our goal. Beating New England is a step toward our ultimate goal.â€ť No matter. The underdog Patriots can use it as motivation, just as theyâ€™re aware of comments the Chargers made following last seasonâ€™s 41-17 victory at Gillette Stadium, which ended the Patsâ€™ 21-game home winning streak. As the Chargers left the field, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips let out a whoop and yelled, â€śThatâ€™s an ass-whupping.â€ť The next dayâ€™s Providence Journal quoted cornerback Drayton Florence admonishing a group of onlookers in the bowels of Gillette: â€ś(Expletive) New England and their team. Get the look of shock off your faces. Donâ€™t be shocked. We beat your ass.â€ť The Pats might not complain about the comments publicly, but itâ€™s a safe bet theyâ€™ve come up in private. â€śWhen they played us last year, (Caldwell) knows exactly what his coach said about us leading up to the game,â€ť Brady said. â€śBut thatâ€™s kind of like all of us. Thereâ€™s a lot of pride you have in yourself. Going up against somebody like when we played the Jets, we didnâ€™t think they were any good. But of course they were. You just have to convince yourself theyâ€™re not. Thatâ€™s just the way it goes.â€ť The Patriots playing the respect card? Now thatâ€™s just the way it goes. Should they prevail tomorrow, theyâ€™ll likely have some interesting things to say.